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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

DVD REVIEW: Guest Booker With Raven: Booking Hall And Nash In ECW

Courtesy of Steve Rockamaniac:

Over the years, Raven has been loved and hated by many in the wrestling business. Those he has not pissed off have praised the wrestling mind he has, and many times it has been suggested that Raven could be a highly successful head booker for a wrestling company, So Kayfabe Commentaries decided to give him that chance in a special installment of the “Guest Booker” DVD series that they are calling the “Booker At Heart” edition. The very hypothetical situation that Raven is given is booking Scott Hall and Kevin Nash as if they decided to jump ship from the WWF to ECW back in 1996 instead of jumping to World Championship Wrestling. Raven was world champion at the time, so this becomes even more unique as he is not only given the chance to book the two big names, but to book himself during the 10 months leading into ECW’s PPV debut, Barely Legal in April 1997.

What has to be most impressive about Raven’s booking performance on this DVD is that he came into it with absolutely no preparation, He may or may not have been told the subject of DVD beforehand, but he starts the feature with no idea of what was going on at the time in ECW despite the fact that he was living and fighting through it. That’s what substance abuse will do to as Raven called this point in time “the beginning of my lost years”. Despite this, Raven sits down for 90 minutes and goes in depth about how he would bring in Hall, Nash and as a added bonus Sean “Xpac” Waltman. Raven does this with only a couple of small timeouts to brush up on history, and goes into marathon mode for the final portion of the feature as he kicks host Sean Oliver to the curb and takes over the white board scribbling down the rantings and ravings of Raven’s booking mind. Admittingly it’s tough at times for the viewer to keep track of Raven’s ramblings, even Oliver ends up with question marks all over his face at one point (literally!), but as I would eventually find out it all makes sense in the end. The task of making it clear is somewhat easier thanks to a on screen display of the month by month booking as it gets filled in by Raven. You also get the chance to learn something about Raven, that being he gets very cranky when is hungry as he continuously mentions near the end of the feature that he wants food and when it eventually arrives you get a added surprise in the closing credits as Raven scarfs down his chow.

Giving you a small idea of the path Raven goes down, Scott Hall arrives to ECW first and cuts a promo explaining how he was no longer going to be run over by a red white and blue bus of Lex Luger and is ready to break out, and will obviously want to do so by getting Raven’s world title, instead the flock confront Hall in the ring, after which Hall explains to Raven that if he wants to bring his friends into this, then Hall has some friends he could bring as well which as you can tell would be how Nash would eventually be introduced. Hall and Raven begin a long title feud while Nash it sent down a path of destroying big men such as Brian Lee and Dr Death Steve Williams to eventually enter a feud with The Sandman. X-pac is brought in during the progression of these feuds, and Terry Funk also enters heading into Barely Legal to get his title shot against Hall on Funk’s 20 year anniversary of being in the business.

To say the least this was a complete departure from previous Guest booker editions as not only is Raven a booker at heart, but the angle he is asked to book is something that never happened, regardless we end up with a entertaining final product as much like old time radio used to be, it gives you a chance to close your eyes for a second and fanaticize about what could have been and if you were an old school ECW fan or a big fan of the outsiders then it could be something very appealing to you.

“Guest Booker with Raven: Booking Hall and Nash in ECW” is now available on DVD from Kayfabe Commentaries. For more information or to order your own copy check out kayfabecommentaries.com and to read my previous DVD reviews head on over to maineventradio.com/reviews.htm